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Autobiography and Memoir

Autobiography and Memoir news and analysis from The Nation

  • May 11, 2006

    Dining With Devils

    Wole Soyinka’s You Must Set Forth at Dawn is a captivating memoir of the political and cultural dilemmas the author and activist encountered, and a compelling chronicle of Nigeria’s turbulent past.

    Fatin Abbas

  • May 11, 2006

    The Sheltering Shy

    Satirist Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories is a packed suitcase of a book by one of Britain’s finest writers, exploring the ra

    David Thomson

  • March 8, 2006

    Will Greenspan Tell the Truth?

    A Greenspan memoir will do fine in the marketplace. It is the kind of Important Book daughters buy for father’s birthday. In the unlikely event Greenspan tells the truth, it would be a sensational bestseller.

    William Greider

  • January 26, 2006

    Truth, Fiction and Frey

    James Frey’s faux memoir exposes corporate publishing as an industry so starved for bestsellers that it is unable to protect itself from fraud.

    Matthew Flamm

  • November 17, 2005

    The Dying Animal

    Gabriel García Márquez’s new novella begins as an autobiography, but the passion-filled story of an old man, mad with love and clinging to life, weaves Marquez’s other fiction into the tale.

    Michael Wood


  • November 17, 2005

    Monster’s Ball

    Party in the Blitz, the final volume of Nobel laureate Elias Canetti’s memoirs, is a chaotic, horribly fascinating memoir of a man who was a slave to love, an omnivorous intellect and a literary giant.

    John Banville

  • November 2, 2005

    I Wonder As I Wander

    Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost plumbs the mysteries of losing oneself and finding oneself in the realm of the utter unknown.

    Michael Gorra

  • September 1, 2005

    Optimism of the Will

    The rich legacy of former Nation editor and activist Carey McWilliams is on full display in three books.

    Mike Davis

  • August 11, 2005

    The Unexamined Life

    Sean Wilsey’s new memoir is a vulnerable, aching, unresolved account of growing up rich amid San Francisco’s high society.

    Lee Siegel

  • July 28, 2005

    Fables of the Reconstruction

    The Informant and Son of the Rough South examine the dynamics of moral choice through the lens of the civil rights movement.

    Diane McWhorter